Panjiva reports a 10 percent decline in global trade from September to October

{lm_summary}

By ·

Global trade activity saw a steep dip from September to October, according to data released by Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers.

U.S.-bound waterborne shipments, which were up 9 percent and down 3 percent and 4 percent, respectively, in the previous three recorded months declined 10 percent from September to October, coming in at 988,255, said Panjiva. This was 3.1 percent below shipment levels from the same period last year, which reached 1,027,973.

The 10 percent decline topped previous September to October trends, including 2011’s and 2010’s matching -2 percent declines, and a 3 percent gain in 2009 and a 1 percent gain in 2008.

“While it is hard to know for sure, it is likely that Hurricane Sandy had an impact on these numbers,” said Panjiva CEO Josh Green. “It seems like buyers opted to keep inventories relatively lean for the holiday season, and I don’t think anyone has any visibility as to what the post-holiday environment will look like.”

The decision to keep inventories lean, said Green, represents a bet on a modest holiday season, coupled with a desire to not be left with inventory after the holiday season, when there is very little visibility as to how consumers are going to be feeling.

While the holiday season is a key driver in regards to trade patterns and how people approach it as orders were placed, there was—and remains—a lot of uncertainty about: the trajectory of the economy; how the Presidential election would turn out; where consumer sentiment would be heading; and how the fiscal cliff might be resolved.

“This uncertainty has led to fairly cautious buying patterns by companies,” explained Green.

Before the September to October period, Green said Panjiva was expecting trade volumes to be between flat to down 5 percent, explaining that the 10 percent dip was definitely more than expected based on seasonal patterns.

Keeping a close eye on inventory due to economic uncertainty has led to the die being cast in terms of how much inventory retailers will have on hand for the holiday season, noted Green.

“The attention now turns to what consumers do,” he said. “Do they buy as cautiously as retailers have or do they surprise us on the upside with aggressive holiday spending? And the political piece is going to be very important as well. If there is modest holiday spending and continued challenges on the fiscal cliff front, you will see continuing caution on the part of buyers. If we see a holiday surprise from consumers and from Washington in the form of a deal on the fiscal cliff, then I think it will bode well for trade flows and for the transportation and logistics sectors.”


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Global Logistics · Panjiva · Trade · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Improving Packaging: The Cost of Shipping Air is Going Up
Retailers and manufacturers that insist on using inefficient and sloppy packaging methods—oversized boxes, inefficient packaging, poorly constructed palletized contents—are paying for their mistakes in sharply higher freight rates. Pitt Ohio White Paper, Logistics White Paper, Dimensional Packaging
Download Today!
From the July 2016 Issue
While it’s currently a shippers market, the authors of this year’s report contend that we’ve entered a “period of transition” that will usher in a realignment of capacity, lower inventories, economic growth and “moderately higher” rates. It’s time to tighten the ties that bind.
2016 State of Logistics: Third-party logistics
2016 State of Logistics: Ocean freight
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Getting the most out of your 3PL relationship
Join Evan Armstrong, president of Armstrong & Associates, as he explains how creating a balanced portfolio of "Top 50" global and domestic partners can maximize efficiency and mitigate risk.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Regional ports concentrate on growth and connectivity
With the Panama Canal expansion complete, ocean cargo gateways in the Caribbean are investing to...
Digital Reality Check
Just how close are we to the ideal digital supply network? Not as close as we might like to think....

Top 25 ports: West Coast continues to dominate
The Panama Canal expansion is set for late June and may soon be attracting more inbound vessel calls...
Port of Oakland launches smart phone apps for harbor truckers
Innovation uses Bluetooth, GPS to measure how long drivers wait for cargo